In the midst of a crazy fall, super packed with weddings, portrait sessions, and meetings, I still wake up in the morning with a smile on my face. I still get excited about every single wedding, and every single session I do. On top of that (and this is the most important for me), I still pick up my camera in my free time, in that wondrous way I did when this journey first began. This is the “why?” part for me. This is why I do what I do. Photography woke me up from my creative slumber.
When I was a kid, I remember being drawn to the arts in every form. My friends and I would spend countless hours choreographing routines that we would perform at the school dances. I later joined dance classes, and I remember the first time I did a solo on stage in front of all those strangers. I felt more alive in that moment than I ever had before. Art class was by far my favorite subject. My bedroom walls were covered in my favorite drawings and paintings. I kept a notebook full of poetry that I would write while sitting in my room at night. I would get super excited walking into a library. To me, those books were the thoughts and feelings of other people, all out on display for someone to experience, and I took pleasure in getting lost in a good book. Art was my therapy in dealing with my less than ideal childhood.
I became a mother at a young age. I knew that my daughter was always going to come first, and I made her my number one priority. I then got married, and had my second child. I was so low on my own priority list, that there was no time for me. Ever. I would still go to the craft store, and stock up on paints, canvases, drawing materials, etc. but they would sit in my closet. I guess just knowing that I had them in the event that I was able to use them was some kind of comfort. I lost my sense of creativity, and quite frankly, I lost my sense of self. I put so much into being the best mother that I could; tending to the kids, working to help my husband pay the bills, trying to keep the house semi clean on a daily basis…I just felt so weighed down from all of my “to do’s”, that there was no time for the things that I enjoyed.
Fast forward to 2010. I finally could afford to get my first “real” camera. I got a Nikon DSLR, and went on a photo taking frenzy. It started with photos of my kids, then I got on a flower/nature kick….I just couldn’t stop taking photos. My kids were a bit older, and more independent, so I guess I didn’t feel as guilty for taking some “me” time as they entertained themselves. I became a sponge, learning everything I possibly could about photography. It was in this same year that I went back to school to pursue a degree in business. I was finally making time for myself. I quickly outgrew that beginner DSLR, and longed for something that I could really take control of. People started asking me to take photos for them. This was a big deal for me. I felt something inside of me telling me that this could be it. This could be what I was meant to do. I could feel myself coming alive again. I had found my passion. You see, that first DSLR changed my whole life. It reminded me of all of that creativity that I had bottled up inside of me, that deserved to be set free. It reminded me that I could still be a great mom, and take time for myself.
2014 is coming to an end, and I just can’t believe what an amazing journey this has been. I have been there to capture memories for so many amazing people as they say “I Do” to their best friends, I have photographed so many little ones for their parents to look back on years from now, and remember their chubby little cheeks, I have captured the essence of so many families for them to treasure for years to come. Words can not describe how honored I am to have been there to freeze those moments in time for all of you.
So, this is my “why?”. This is why I do what I do. Because photography taught me how to feel alive again. My walls are once again covered in my artwork (I even get my kids involved!). Because every day I wake up feeling like I am living a dream. Because I still get just as excited about every wedding/session as I did the very first time.